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Research Assistant - Tallgrass Prairie Center

The Tallgrass Prairie Center seeks a research/field assistant with a strong interest in ecology, conservation, or the natural world. Assistants will work in a dynamic environment lab and field settings, and have the opportunity to work alongside conservation scientists to help restore resilient, diverse tallgrass prairie.

Starts March or May 2024, 5 month position. End date flexible (up to October). Up to 20 hours weekly. Schedule and hours flexible (weekdays preferred). Starting $15/hr.

Job Description

Assist with TPC prairie restoration seeding projects

  • Mix seed for restoration projects (precise weighing and mixing from over 100 different plant species)
  • Assist with seed inventory management (batch check-in, physical inventory, organize seed bagging materials)

Assist with prescribed burning on TPC managed lands

  • Use backpack sprayers, hand fire tools, and vehicle mounted pump engines to manage prescribed fire on TPC seed production plots and Irvine Prairie

Assist with annual TPC Native Seed Price Survey

  • Communicate with native seed vendors and compile yearly price data

 Assist with upkeep and research on TPC lands and facilities

  • Mow or hand pull invasive weeds in and adjacent to demonstration areas
  • Assist in establishing photo points and take photographs throughout growing season
  • Assist in vegetation data collection
  • Assist with native seed collection
  • Gain experience using Arc GIS Online to collect and manage ecological data

Assist TPC Director

  • Assist with planning and attend Botany Training (late May- early June)
  • Provide field support as needed for vegetation monitoring projects in TPC programs
  • Assist with planning UNI classroom activities (monarch count, seed collection)

Assist with Plant Materials Program

  • Maintain roots pot facility at Biology Research Complex
  • Occasional production plot weeding and TPC landscape maintenance

Other tasks as assigned


Job Requirements

  • Familiarity with or willingness to learn plant taxonomy (naming conventions) of tallgrass prairie plants
  • Able to identify or willingness to learn Iowa invasive weeds
  • Ability to walk several miles over rough terrain and lift up to 30 lb
  • Valid driver’s license preferred